Newly established payment channel proof of US sanctions on food, medicine

TEHRAN, Feb. 05 (MNA) – In a tweet on Wednesday, the Spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said the newly established humanitarian channel for the delivery of foodstuff and medicine to Iran is by itself a proof of the US sanctions imposed on imports of food and medicine to Iran

"Despite US false claims that drugs and foodstuffs are not sanctioned, in practice, all the banking transactions with Iran have been blocked," he wrote.

"By having the so-called humanitarian channel for the supply of pharmaceuticals launched, they officially confirmed that their made claims are false and against the ICJ," he added, "Drugs and Food are also sanctioned while they should have not been."

FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that the newly established humanitarian channel for the delivery of foodstuff and medicine to Iran can not be translated as a sign of the US' goodwill for the Iranian nation.

As he elaborated, "according to the order of the International Court of Justice to the US, Americans are not allowed to impede imports of food and medicine into Iran; however, the US is still implementing its 'maximum pressure' campaign against Iranians and prevents the country from paying for its required medicine via restricting access to its own financial resources." 

"The new channel is a small step taken by the Swiss government," he said, "We hail the move but this is not a proof for the US goodwill nor it is compliance to the order of International Court of Justice let alone the JCPOA."

Trial operation of a humanitarian channel for the delivery of foodstuff and medicine to Iran, which does not trip over the US sanctions, was done last Thursday.

Reacting to the issue, the Governor of the Central bank of Iran (CBI) said on Friday, "If Americans really mean it when they say they are helping with the supply of medicine and agricultural goods, they must establish a banking mechanism for transfer and supply of financial resources required for purchase of the basic goods."

"Some 2.5 million worth of medicine have been exchanged on demand of Swiss embassy," he said, "The financial resource for the job has been provided from CBI's assets in a Swiss bank and via Swiss companies."

The US Special Representative Brian Hook told a press briefing on Thursday that three shipments of cancer and transplant drugs have been sent to Iran through this channel and the transaction has been processed. He added that more companies were interested in using the channel and there were likely to be more similar transactions. “It’s the first one. There will be more to come.”

As reported, the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) seeks to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical, and medical sectors have a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank through which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed.


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